Ontolog Forum

Session Risk
Duration 1 hour
Date/Time 23 Mar 2022 16:00 GMT
9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT
4:00pm GMT/5:00pm CET
Convener Ravi Sharma
Track Pandemics

Ontology Summit 2022 Risk

Dealing with Disasters

The COVID-19 pandemic as well as other pandemics and disasters have prompted an impressive, worldwide response by governments, industry, and the academic community. Ontologies can play a significant role in search, data description, interoperability and harmonization of the increasingly large data sources that are relevant to disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ontology Summit 2022 examined the overall landscape of disasters and related ontologies. A framework consisting of a set of dimensions was developed to characterize this landscape. The framework was applied to health-related disasters, environmental disasters, as well as aerospace and cyberspace disasters. It was found that there are many cross-domain linkages between different kinds of disasters and that ontologies developed for one kind of disaster can be repurposed for other kinds. A representative sample of projects that have been developing and using ontologies for disaster monitoring and response management is presented to illustrate best practices and lessons learned. The Communiqué ends by presenting the findings and recommendations of the summit.


  • Ken Baclawski What is Risk? Slides
  • Risks and disasters are related notions. As there are many interpretations of the notion of risk, it is important to clarify an intended interpretation to avoid miscommunication. In this talk I will survey a variety of definitions of risk and give some examples of risk scenarios. A rudimentary ontology of risk is developed, and validated with respect to the various definitions of risk as well as the risks that occur in the disaster lifecycle. A mathematical theory of risk is presented which could be applied to disaster management.
  • Video Recording

Conference Call Information

  • Date: Wednesday, 23 Mar 2022
  • Start Time: 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EDT / 5:00pm CET / 4:00pm GMT / 1600 UTC
    • ref: World Clock
    • Note: The US and Canada are on Daylight Saving Time while Europe has not yet changed.
  • Expected Call Duration: 1 hour
  • The Video Conference URL is
    • Meeting ID: 881 4427 2329
    • Passcode: 553714
  • Chat Room:
    • If the chat room is not available, then use the Zoom chat room.
  • One tap mobile



[12:10] RaviSharma: It is the amount that is at Risk

[12:11] Todd Schneider: The two 'possibilities' are not independent.

[12:11] Gary Berg-Cross: Risk definitions from a Bio ontology: "The potential future harm that may arise from some present action. It is often combined or confused with the probability of an event which is seen as undesirable."

[12:11] Gary Berg-Cross: There is also a 'Risk Estimate'

[12:12] Gary Berg-Cross: Both of these are from the Precision Medicine Ontology.

[12:15] RaviSharma: What is meant by 'variance'?

[12:17] RaviSharma: Several points: good on variance, but regulations for insurance companies!

[12:20] Todd Schneider: So 'Risk' is about a change of 'State'?

[12:21] BartGajderowicz: If Risk concerns both up and downsides, what's the difference between risk and uncertainty?

[12:22] RaviSharma: SEC regulations are more detailed and varied among financial and insurance risks, actually reserves are opposite in each case.

[12:23] RaviSharma: I also see Mike Bennett who will also enlighten us on financial risks!

[12:24] Michael Uschold: To include positive outcomes as part of the definition of risk is to blur (or outright ignore) the distinction between risk and uncertainty.

[12:26] RaviSharma: One important aspect is pre events and post events - one is probability another is mitigation?

[12:26] Todd Schneider: 'Risk' is about 'something', so to have an ontology of 'Risk' you need an ontology of the 'things' to which 'Risk' is relevant or to be applied.

[12:27] RaviSharma: In financial sphere the models rely on GBM.

[12:28] João Paulo A. Almeida: I'd like to invite the colleagues interested in risk to have a look at our work where we have defined an ontology of risk and put it to use in the evaluation of risk modeling:

[12:28] RaviSharma: But there are "walls" or limits to free motion of particles

[12:29] João Paulo A. Almeida: The key in our view is disambiguating risk experience (a complex event that encompass risk events such as threat events, loss events), (subjective) risk assessment, risk as a (quantifiable) quality of risk assessment and there are many roles relevant (object at risk, risk subject, risk assessor, )

[12:29] RaviSharma: Ergodic hypothesis is another assumption so these models fail at small portfolios

[12:30] Mike Bennett: Not necessarily. A stochastically probable event may have a negative impact for someone and a negative impact for someone else. An Opportunity.

[12:31] Mike Bennett: In response to Mike Uschold's point earlier.

[12:32] Gary Berg-Cross: I recall that Mike Bennett was involved in a risk hackathon around 2014 with Mike Dean and others. The resulting rdf/ontology seems to be no longer online but has many of the relevant concepts: rdf:RDF xmlns=""

   <owlntology rdf:about="">
       <owl:imports rdf:resource=""/>
       <owl:imports rdf:resource=""/>

[12:35] RaviSharma: Ken kindly relate to work on UNDRR also through comments?

[12:36] João Paulo A. Almeida: Also we have related risk and value (to account for upside risk):

[12:38] Gary Berg-Cross: Shirly Stefan's work using the UNDRR gets at the downside risks by relating them to Hazards. Some elements have vulnerability based on exposure etc. It is a shame that I have not yet heard back from Shirly about presenting.

[12:39] RaviSharma: Interesting to find out the risk of not using ontologies.

[12:42] João Paulo A. Almeida: This approach that Michael mentioned we also used for our ontology of services. Instead of trying to settle an interpretation for service, we use service as an adjective for elements in the ontology. Same with risk.

[12:43] RaviSharma: Todd, in the Common Ontology of Value and Risk, what you refer to is the participation in a Loss Event, which brings about a Loss Situation.

[12:48] Mike Bennett: I'll see if I can re-post the Risk Hackathon ontologies somewhere online.

[12:50] RaviSharma: At Risk in COVR. Mike, what you mention is absolutely in line with COVR. I wish we could have access to this work of yours in 2014, so we could refer to it.

[12:50] Mike Bennett: Hi João Paula, I had a great chat with Tiago Sales and Giancarlo Guizzardi and Rob Nehmer at VMBO where we realized a commonality between Risk / Opportunity and Value - I think you may have been involved in the paper that emerged from that conversation?

[12:51] João Paulo A. Almeida: Yes, Mike, exactly.

[12:53] JoãPaulo: The following is a link to the first of a series of 6 blogs on risk and focusing on concepts not terms.

[12:56] Mike Bennett: +1 for Common ontology of Value and Risk presentation from João Paulo et al

[12:57] RaviSharma: Archimate - Ravi says it was developed for EA

[12:59] Mike Bennett: LGD = Impact (in Risk = Probability x Impact) - a specialization

[13:02] João Paulo A. Almeida: I must go, nice session, thanks Ken and all

[13:02] Gary Berg-Cross: Another ontology take on Risk from Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF) Standard Ontology: The probability or likelihood that an event will occur; possibility of loss or injury; someone or something that creates or suggests a hazard; the chance that an investment will lose value.

[13:03] BartGajderowicz: I must go. Thank you Ken and everyone.

[13:03] Janet Singer: Risk of impact or change of state of some valued thing or asset are necessary concepts but the scale of disruptive impact is also relevant to rise to a true social rather than personal disaster.

[13:04] Mike Bennett: Let's not forget iatrogenic risk (the risk incurred by some risk mitigation measure)!

[13:05] Mike Bennett: Every impact is by definition an impact on some Goal.

[13:06] Mike Bennett: But for Systemic Risk the goal is that of the system not of the individual participants. Emergence is not summation.

[13:07] Cas Miles: Thank you very much Ken, your presentation was entertaining, and informative for me. I expect I will be thinking more on your presentation and the resulting conversation for some time.


Previous Meetings

ConferenceCall 2022 03 16Semantic Agents
ConferenceCall 2022 03 09Knowledge Graph Approach to Combat COVID-19
ConferenceCall 2022 03 02Workshop Report
... further results

Next Meetings

ConferenceCall 2022 03 30Synthesis
ConferenceCall 2022 04 06ESIP Cross-Domain Collaboratory
ConferenceCall 2022 04 13KGs and Disaster Mitigation
... further results